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Trump Skirted Immigration Laws When Hiring Top Foreign Models

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Trump Skirted Immigration Laws When Hiring Top Foreign Models

trump model management

Published with permission from AlterNet

For all Donald Trump’s tough talk on immigration, a Mother Jones report published Tuesday reveals the Republican candidate’s modeling agency, Trump Model Management, hired foreign models in the mid-2000s without acquiring the proper documentation. In a series of interviews with James West, former Trump Model Management talent Rachel Blais, along with two pseudonymous models, recounted their experiences working with Trump’s agency, detailing employment plagued by low wages, deplorable living conditions and fear of getting caught.

“We’re herded into these small spaces,” one model, referred to as Kate, told Mother Jones of the living conditions at the Trump models’ apartment. “The apartment was like a sweatshop.” According to financial documents provided by Blais, the agency charged as much as $1,600 a month for a bunk in a six-person room in New York’s East Village in 2004.

“Most of the girls in the apartment that were not American didn’t have a work visa,” Blais told the magazine.

Canadian-born Blais said she worked for the the agency for six months before obtaining the proper work visa, even modeling on an episode of Trump’s reality TV show, “The Apprentice.” Despite earning tens of thousands of dollars for the agency, Blais said she received only one check from Trump Model Management, for $8,000.

Her story follows a similar pattern to that of former Trump model Alexia Palmer, who was part of a class-action lawsuit against Trump Model Management and other modeling agencies over the industry’s notoriously low wages. Palmer says she earned less than $4,000 during her three-year stint with Trump’s agency. According to documents obtained by Mother Jones, Palmer worked with Trump Model Management in the United States for nine months before receiving her work permit.

The women told Mother Jones they were coached by agency reps on how to pass immigration when coming to the United States. “When you’re stuck at immigration, say that you’re coming as a tourist. If they go through your luggage and they find your portfolio, tell them that you’re going there to look for an agent,” Kate recalled.

For some of its more successful models, Blais told Mother Jones the agency eventually secured H-1B work visas to allow talent to work legally in the U.S. Models who were not offered visas were sent home.

Trump Model Management’s use of H-1B visas is ironic, considering the candidate’s hardline stance on the program. In March, Trump said he will “end forever the use of H-1B as a cheap labor program,” adding he will require companies to hire American workers before opening the pool to visa holders.

“More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the program’s lowest allowable wage level,” Trump’s website reads. “Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas.”

Blais said because of Trump’s modeling agency (in which the candidate holds an 85 percent stake), she learned firsthand the impact of working for a company on an H-1B visa. “This is a system where they actually end up making money on the back of these foreign workers,” Blais said.

Photo: Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, June 18, 2016. REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec



  1. OverthecliffRepublicans August 31, 2016

    The scammin’ yam is a cheapskate hypocrite. Laws are for the little people.

  2. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

    benghazi. emails. clinton foundation. dnc.
    puts trump to shame.

    1. King of America August 31, 2016

      If only they were real and not paranoid fever dreams, you might have a point. Sadly, you don’t.

      1. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

        when they throw her in jail, you’ll fell differently.

        1. King of America August 31, 2016

          Yes, according to you cretins the Clintons have been about to go to jail for three decades now. Unfortunately for your fascist dreams, it needs more than credulous conspiracy theories to sentence someone to prison.

          1. idamag August 31, 2016

            They are the party of hate and lies. Trump is who they are.

          2. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

            even a cat has only 9 lives. their time has come. and there’s evidence this time, too.

          3. King of America August 31, 2016

            “ANY DAY NOW.” – repeat for thirty years.

          4. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

            30 new benghazi-related emails were found on backup servers today. she lied to congress AND the FBI. it’s not over until the fat lady is body cavity searched.

          5. King of America August 31, 2016

            Yes I get that you are terrified of women. Missing 30 emails in 15,000 isn’t actually a lie, and I somehow doubt that they will contain “HEY LIBERALZ LETS DO A BENGHAZI AND MURDER THE USA”.

            The sole people at fault in the US government for Benghazi remain the Republicans who stripped the security budget. For her repeated efforts to reverse that decision and explain to them that something exactly like that incident was going to occur in the year or so before the attack, Hillary ought to be lauded; of course, you don’t actually care about America or you would understand.

          6. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

            if you say so

          7. King of America August 31, 2016

            Basically she should be given a medal; she told them what would happen and they refused to listen because: Democrat (the same excellent thinking that brought us 9/11). Instead, the exact people at fault got to spend taxpayer money pretending it was her fault – every single Republican on the original Benghazi commission had voted to strip the State Dept. security budget.

          8. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

            was this before or after she lied about a video being the cause of the attack?

          9. King of America August 31, 2016

            Since that “lie” no more happened than any of the other conspiracy theory smears you’ve posted, the question doesn’t even make sense.

            Anyway, there’s a means – a “search engine”, if you will – to look up news stories from before Benghazi, such as this one, that back up the things I say. You, of course, cannot do the same, as you are just making up stuff because you’re Mad At Women™.

          10. I Am Helpy September 7, 2016

            slight correct: 1 new BENGHAZI!1!!! email, which was some random ambassador writing in to compliment her on handling it so well.


            You people are hilarious failures.

        2. JPHALL August 31, 2016

          You right wingers have been saying that for almost 30 years. I guess you also still believe in Santa Claus also?

          1. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

            30 MORE benghazi-related emails that she TESTIFIED were already turned over showed up today. it’s not over until the fat lady is body cavity searched.

          2. JPHALL August 31, 2016

            Like said, Still believe in Santa Claus? 30 years and counting. Delusional much? Subject: Re: Comment on Trump Skirted Immigration Laws When Hiring Top Foreign Models

          3. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

            that’s for the FBI to decide

          4. King of America September 1, 2016

            Good news, they already decided. Guess what? No crime, no corruption, no chance she’ll be going to jail, no matter how mad you get.

          5. Jmz Nesky September 1, 2016

            Oh! And YOU get to decide on Clinton.. Leave it to the officials, they’ll put you straight just like even your party did before yet you called them bought-out liars too.

          6. noh1bvisas September 1, 2016

            of course i gt to decide on clinton. it’s called voting. duh.

          7. Jmz Nesky September 1, 2016

            That’s not what I meant and you know it meathead, or.. are you as stupid as the folks on this forum have pegged you as? I’m saying you keep accusing Clinton but keep butt sniffing your hero Trump.. That’s about as hypocritical as any closed minded wanker can get.

          8. noh1bvisas September 1, 2016

            you sure think about my butt a lot, perv.

          9. Jmz Nesky September 1, 2016

            Man your totally skitched, it’s you’re NOSE to Trump’s butt you dildo.

          10. noh1bvisas September 1, 2016


          11. I Am Helpy September 7, 2016

            Hi just dropping in from the future to point out that your dumb conspiracy theory, that THIS time was definitely going to send her to jail, turned out to be ridiculous nonsense.

            Who would have thought.

          12. noh1bvisas August 31, 2016

            cut-n-paste is the mark of a troll

      2. idamag August 31, 2016

        trump is who noh1bvisas is. You cannot expect he or she to use facts. If Charles Manson was running on the Republican ticket, he would be supported. Republicans can do any crime (think war crimes) and it is okay. They will spew their hate even if they have to manufacture scandals. He or she is not worth you wasting time on.

  3. Linda August 31, 2016

    The blatant hypocrisy of this man is so incredibly mind-boggling. I don’t think I have despised a person more in my 67 years on this earth than this despicable anus-mouthed doughy pant load. Ahhhhhhhhhhh (me screaming in frustration, anger and disgust)!!!!!!!

    1. Rick2101 August 31, 2016

      Despite all of the ridiculous statements Donald “The Fraud” Trump has made, he is not stupid. He is one of the most successful scammers in American history. He knows how to make a great deal, for himself. Trump the consummate con artist has bamboozled many Americans into donating to his campaign. Donald “The Fraud” Trump is pulling off the best grift ever: After your supporters willingly give you their money, you don’t have to give it back.

      1. Kathleeneford2 September 1, 2016

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj321d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash321GroupSpotGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj321d:….,……

  4. Jinmichigan August 31, 2016

    Trump Skirted Immigration Laws When Hiring Top Foreign Models?
    Let me fix that.

    trump BROKE Immigration Laws When Hiring Top Foreign Models.


  5. PatrickHenry August 31, 2016

    Article by Mother Jones, ha, ha, ha, haaaaa. Enough said!

  6. Dan S August 31, 2016

    Trump says do as I say not as I do. Rules to follow are for losers ????

    1. noh1bvisas September 1, 2016

      hillary hires h1bs, too. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/03/10/clinton-foundation-hires-h-1b-guest-workers-in-place-of-american-graduates/
      she wants an unlimited number of foreign guest workers.

      1. Dan S September 1, 2016

        Oh God first it’s Fox News quotes now Breitbart? I’ll get my news from less biased sources Thank You very much ????

  7. Jon August 31, 2016

    I finally understand what has been going on with Trump’s radical immigration policy he has been promoting for over one year. He was being sarcastic. What reasonable person would have believed he was actually going to form a Deportation Force and deport 11 million plus illegal immigrants? What a joker! What a sense of humor!

    1. idamag August 31, 2016

      The difference is the ethnic backgrounds.

      1. Jon August 31, 2016

        But that would mean that Trump is nothing more than a cynical, bigoted racist. Oh. Now I see.

  8. idamag August 31, 2016

    Human trafficking

    1. noh1bvisas September 1, 2016

      nonsense. they chose to become models and chose to commit visa fraud. now, they are trying to blame someone else for their crime.

      1. greenlantern1 September 2, 2016

        Wasn’t the agency their gang leader?

  9. Jmz Nesky September 1, 2016

    Well what did they expect from a capitalist money mongering b’nessman.. How else can he make his profits if he can’t short change everyone around him?

    1. noh1bvisas September 1, 2016

      clinton bank, oops, “foundation”. ’nuff said.

      1. roguerunners September 1, 2016

        You mean the one that was just rated #1? Enough said!

      2. Jmz Nesky September 1, 2016

        Idiot! You know nothing, only what you pick up from the hate grapevine. I’ve checked that foundation first hand and it’s as legal and fair as all the other charity foundations. Now that may not be saying much as I think all foundations are created for profit however the Clinton foundation stands as legitimate as all the others. That your too lazy to investigate personally rather take the word of Clinton enemy haters shows just what type of clueless sub-human you really are.

      3. greenlantern1 September 2, 2016

        Hoover “foundation”.
        Want to continue?

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